Trump Budget Threatens Services for Individuals With Developmental Disabilities

The $4.1 trillion budget proposed by the Trump Administration released Tuesday puts safety-net programs such as Medicaid on the chopping block while bolstering defense spending. The budget released this week spells out  Trump’s priorities, which include making deep cuts to Medicaid and other programs people with disabilities rely on.

Trump’s budget slashes $610 billion from Medicaid in the next decade. Trump’s budget plan replaces uncapped matching grants to states to pay for services provided by the entitlement program, with a choice for the states to either receive a set amount for each beneficiary (per capita cap method), or receive a block grant, essentially a lump sum from the federal government.  According to disability advocates, this fundamental shift to Medicaid would have far-reaching consequences for people with developmental disabilities, affecting the availability of everything from health care to home and community-based services.

Apart from Medicaid, Trump’s plan calls for a decline in federal special education spending and cuts to funding for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, state developmental disabilities councils, autism programs and medical research.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the top Democrat on the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has said of this proposed budget and its impact, ”

“Time and time again, President Trump has shown a complete disregard for the rights and concerns of individuals with disabilities — and his budget is just the latest example. By slashing critical efforts to support education for students with disabilities, increase employment opportunities for workers with disabilities, provide affordable health care for people with disabilities and provide accessible housing, President Trump is leaving millions of Americans with disabilities to hang out to dry.”

Source for the article:”Trump Budget Guts Medicaid, Disability Programs” by Michelle Diament, Disability Scoop, May 23, 2017.